Genie

  • he spent around 10 years of her life in a darkened room tied to a potty chair from the age of 3 till 13.
  • she was beaten by her father for making any noise
  • She was completely isolated from anyone else and any stimulation
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Description of her when found

  •  She  couldn't and wouldn't talk apart from noises.
  • She did not want to make any close connections with others
  • Explored people and objects through touch
  • She often spat and clawed at objects
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Aim

It was primarily to help Genie and to assist her in developing a 'normal' life. However, they also used it to see whether a child out of the 'criticle period' could delelop speech and attachments. 

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Procedure

The Information which was gained was by working, observing Genie and they also conducted language tests (mainly Curtis)

There were also weekly interviews with Genie's mother conducted, however she seemed to say what the soical workers wanted her to say and said not it could be valid.

Daily doctors reports, video tapes and recordings were made

  • While she was in a children's hospital she became more social and developed cognitively and intellectually.
  • She also showed progress and developed her vocabulary as well as her number skills. Although she showed progression, she was not able to put the vocab in a grammatical sentence.
  • She was then moved into a rehabilitation centre where she contunued to show progress but she had delayed responses.
  • It was only after a few months that she started to play and enjoy day trips and showed attachment towards the psychologists.
  • Then the funding for the study stopped and Curtiss returned her to social services where shewas cared for in many foster homes.
  • Within one of the homes, she was physically abused again which made her regress into her original emotional state and silence where she lost all her previous achievements.
  • She then went to a residential home  where she was not allowed to see the psychologists..
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Interpretations

  • The first was that Genie suffered Privation as a result of being seperated from her mother and being kept isolated from everyone.
  • She missed stimulation (toys, games) and attachment in the critical period which hindered her language skills.
  • As she was only found at the age of 13 years old, she missed the sensitive period where a particular event is supposed to happen
  • As she was abuse by her father at a young age, he damaged her emotional and cognitive development while growing up.
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Conclusion

  • It is though that privation is not reversable as Genie never gained normal language, however, psychologists were unable to chase her progress after she was fostered.
  • Genie's case supported the idea that there is a crtical period for 'normal' language deveopment.
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EVALUATION-strengths

+ case study method means this study is rich in data as so much data was gathared. Triangulation gathared qualitative and quantitative data. High validity

+ Ethics: gave Genei a pseudonyum so that she could not be recognised and the family could not be chased. Her privacy was protected so she could live anonymousley after the study.

+supports Bowlby's attachment theory- no attachment can lead to retardation/developmental problems

+the study did aim to help Genie and it seemed to as she had a happier way of life as she was able to go on day trips, socialise and learn things. Curtiss even grew fond of Genie and Genie seemed to show attachment to the psychologists too.

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EVALUATION-Weaknesses

- Generalisability is low as this is a one off case, however, there have been many other cases such as the Czech twins who seemed have their privation reversed

- study could not show whether Genie would have developed normally with good socialisation. She may not have developed problems because of her experience but because of initial developmental problems

-Ethics: Genie was the 'subject' of a study and was subjected to testing and questioning. This could be taking advantage of her and not treating her properly

-no informed consent, right to withdraw or bedriefing. Testing is not a normal part of rehabilitation

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